A cozy oasis in downtown St. Augustine
THE NEIGHBORHOOD: St. Augustine was founded by Spanish explorers in 1565 and served as the capital of Spanish Florida for more than 200 years. Today, the coastal city is packed with historical sites and colonial architecture, plus a bevy of restaurants that shine a spotlight on the local cuisine.
THE VIBE: Comprised of nine cottages dating to the late eighteenth century, the Collector Inn features thirty guestrooms that have been renovated to luxury status while keeping original details intact. Formerly the Dow Museum of Historic Houses, the Collector’s property fuses Spanish and coastal styles.
THE DIGS: Winding stone paths connect the neighborhood of cottages, weaving past an outdoor pool, stone amphitheater, and fire pits throughout the one-acre garden courtyard. Guests can join a tour led by the inn’s on-site historian to learn about the property’s history as a hospital, cemetery, and site for Florida’s reading of the Emancipation Proclamation.
WHERE TO EAT
St. Augustine’s first two-car garage finds new life as the Well Bar, a watering hole serving craft cocktails on property. Pair a charcuterie board with a specialty drink featuring spirits from local St. Augustine Distillery (and plan on making the half-mile trek to visit the distillery’s tasting room in a restored ice plant later).
Venture into St. Augustine’s city center—just a few blocks from the Collector Inn’s back gate—for Spanish-inspired shareable plates and a sangria pitcher at Michael’s Tasting Room. The menu changes seasonally, with options like gnocchi with saffron cream and espresso-rubbed short ribs over yucca mofongo. Or make the short drive over the Bridge of Lions to Peruvian restaurant Llama; start with the corvina ceviche, then move to the mar y tierra, a shrimp and sirloin dish over tagliatelle and Amarillo pepper cream sauce. For a sweet treat, stop by the Hyppo’s original location for Mexican-style popsicles in flavors like blackberry goat cheese, Riesling pear, and pineapple cilantro.
WHAT TO ORDER
Swing by The Bunnery Bakery & Café for a pulled pork benedict topped with green chile sauce.
Head into the heart of the Old City for New Zealand lamb and lobster ravioli at globally inspired Collage.
Ice Plant Bar, which shares a building with the St. Augustine Distillery, focuses on the ice in their craft cocktails for ideal dilution and chill factor.
- by Erin Byers Murray